XL confirms that Goldman is advising it, but adds it has been for some time

XL has issued a statement in response to rumours that it is up for sale. The company responded after its share price slumped by a third on Wednesday.

XL says:

"While it is generally not XL Capital Ltd's policy to comment on market rumors, the Company believes in the current circumstances it is appropriate to do so. The Company remains focused on operating its business and meeting the needs of its customers and is committed to taking actions as necessary to maximize value for its shareholders. In that regard, as can be expected in the current environment, the Company is continuing to explore value-enhancing opportunities available to it and is being assisted in that effort by one of its long-standing financial advisors, Goldman, Sachs & Co." the statement said.

"Based upon the most recently available information, the Company anticipates that the estimated mark-to market decline on its investment portfolio (comprised of changes in unrealized losses, other than temporary impairments and realized losses on securities sales) due to changes in credit spreads and interest rates since the end of the third quarter of 2008 to date would be largely in line with that reported for the third quarter of 2008. The Company notes that future market movements will occur between now and the end of the fourth quarter of 2008, and such movements will affect the mark-to-market on the investment portfolio that the Company will report for the fourth quarter of 2008.

"In addition the Company estimates that it will report approximately $200 to $220 million in net investment fund affiliate losses from its alternative investment portfolio for the fourth quarter of 2008 (covering September, October and November)."